Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

George Bush and the Rain God

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

George Bush and the Rain God

Article excerpt

SOME POLITICAL BROMIDES ARE actually true. Rain really does help Republicans. Snow does too. A survey of the weather in 3,000 counties on every presidential election day from 1948 to 2000 showed a strong correlation between unusual precipitation and the performance of the Republican presidential candidate. For each inch of rain above the norm, the GOP's nominee got an extra 2.5 percentage points of the vote; for each corresponding inch of snow, 0.6.

The Republicans, explain Brad T. Gomez, Thomas G. Hansford, and George A. Krause, political scientists at the University of Georgia, University of California, Merced, and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively, have more "core" voters, who tend to turn out like postmen, despite rain, snow, sleet, and hail. According to conventional theories, Democrats draw greater numbers of "peripheral" voters, who are more likely to stay home when it snows or pours.

The weather may have altered Electoral College totals, the authors write, but in most contests between 1948 and 2000, the outcome was so lopsided that it wouldn't have made any difference. In 1960 and 2000, however, sunshine and raindrops may have dictated the outcome. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.